Center for Children's Literature Blog

Children’s Book Committee – August 2019 Pick

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems
Author: David BowlesThey call me Güro thumb

Mexican American seventh grader Güero grounds himself in family traditions, supportive friends, teachers, and his budding love of poetry. Glossary of Spanish terms.

Our Young Reviewer Says:

I found this book extremely fun and entertaining to read. Though the story was told through succinct poetry, I was still able to get a sense of different characters, settings, and picture the descriptions in my head. The fast-paced poetry was an exciting and interesting platform of telling Güero’s story, and the conflicts were well explained. I enjoyed seeing the trials he faced in the border area in which he lived between Mexico and the United States, and I found the other characters, such as Joanna, Teresa, and the three Bobby’s, well described. Though they were not the protagonists, I was still able to understand each of their characters through Güero’s anecdotes.

The Spanish words interlaced into the mostly English poetry, all of which was translated in the glossary at the end, gave readers a realistic sense of the languages in Güero’s life, as both languages would have been used interchangeably in his family and possibly community. I loved Güero’s more artistically inclined, but still strong, independent, and understanding, personality, and Joanna’s tough exterior, but sweet nature once readers learned more about her. Güero’s diverse set of interests in books, accordion, and writing poetry were unique hobbies that made a truly special character that was enjoyable to read about.

–Arya, 13 years old.

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